The new Florida governor is pushing hard for educational vouchers

The Florida Supreme Court is filled with leftwing liberals who want to protect the teacher unions, but hopefully Rick Scott can find a way around their past rulings.

Newly elected Florida Gov. Rick Scott is making waves with his proposal that all children should receive education vouchers they can use to attend private, public or charter schools.
"The parent should figure out where the dollars for that student are spent," the Republican governor-elect told the St. Petersburg Times. "So if the parents want to spend it on virtual school, then spend it on virtual school. If they want to spend it on, you know, whatever education system they believe in, whether it's this public school or that public school or this private school or that private school, that's what ought to happen." . . .
The details of the plan are still unclear, but the proposed voucher would most likely be for $5,500, the average state per-pupil contribution to public school students. The state would deposit that sum into each individual child's "education savings account" (theoretically every Florida child would have one) instead of into school districts' coffers. (The state currently doles out vouchers for some low-income and disabled students, a program that has not been challenged in court.) . . .

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Blogger Al B. said...

So, what does this do to the concept of 'public school'? Or school tax? How about property taxes, which are frequently used to pay for public schools? If we cut guaranteed funding to public schools through the use of a voucher system, what happens to the quality of the education provided by public schools? Presumeably, competition would eventually force the teachers unions to get cost competitive or die. So how's that idea working out in the auto industry?

At least with the auto industry, poor people aren't required to own a car. There already seems to be an adverse selection process in the teachers' unions use of strict seniority rather than merit for determining salaries. Does the use of vouchers make this situation better or worse in 'public' schools, which need to be cheap enough so that even poor people can afford them? And why did our country evolve toward the public school system approach in the first place?

I'm no fan of teacher's unions. But, if you implement such sweeping changes on a state-wide basis, how do you measure whether the end result is better or worse, and over what period of time?

Polititians do have a way of over-simplifying complex issues.

12/16/2010 12:33 PM  

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